Long-term durability of open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair

Mark F. Conrad, Robert S. Crawford, Juan D. Pedraza, David C. Brewster, Glenn M. LaMuraglia, Michael Corey, Suhny Abbara, Richard P. Cambria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Objective: In multiple comparisons of open vs endovascular (EVAR) repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms, the prior assumption that open repair produced superior durability has been challenged by advocates of EVAR. Although focus on EVAR reintervention has been intense, few contemporary studies document late outcomes after open repair; this was the goal of this study. Methods: From January 1994 to December 1998 (chosen to ensure a minimum 5-year follow-up), 540 patients underwent elective open repair. Surveillance imaging (computed tomographic and magnetic resonance imaging scans) was obtained for 152 (57%) of the 269 patients who remained alive at a mean follow-up of 87 months. Study end points included freedom from graft-related interventions and aneurysm-related and overall survival (Kaplan-Meier test); factors predictive of these end points were determined by multivariate analysis. Results: The mean age at operation was 73 years. A total of 76% of patients were male; 11% had renal insufficiency (creatinine ≥1.5 mg/dL), and 13% had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The aortic cross-clamp position was suprarenal in 135 (25%) patients, and 284 (53%) of patients had bifurcated grafts placed. Operative mortality (30 days) was 3%, and the median length of hospital stay was 7 days. Postoperative complications occurred in 68 (13%) patients. Predictors of postoperative complications included a history of myocardial infarction (hazard ratio [HR], 2.0; P = .01) and renal insufficiency (HR, 2.5; P = .02). The mean follow-up for all patients was 87 months. Actuarial survival was 70.7% ± 2% and 44.3% ± 2.4% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. Negative predictors of long-term survival included advanced age (HR, 1.1; P < .001), history of myocardial infarction (HR, 1.37; P = .02), and renal insufficiency (HR, 1.5; P = .04). Freedom from graft-related reintervention was 98.2% ± 0.8% and 94.3% ± 3.4% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. There were 13 late graft-related complications in 11 (2%) patients (mean follow-up, 7.2 years). Findings included seven anastomotic pseudoaneurysms (five were repaired), four graft limb occlusions, and two graft infections. Aneurysms were identified in noncontiguous arterial segments in 68 (45%) of 152 patients, most of which involved the iliac arteries and required no treatment because of small size. Late aortic aneurysms proximal to the repair were identified in 24% of patients, and 29 (19%) patients had multiple late synchronous aneurysms. Conclusions: Open repair remains a safe and durable option for the management of abdominal aortic aneurysms, with an excellent associated 10-year survival in patients who undergo operation at 75 years of age or younger. In addition, the freedom from graft-related reintervention is superior to that of EVAR. Finally, continued surveillance after open repair is appropriate and should be directed toward the detection of other aneurysms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-675
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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